Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: Stupid Fast

Title: Stupid Fast
Author: Geoff Herbach
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 320
Age Rating: Readers above the age of 11 due to language
My Opinion: 8/10

Hi, Readers!

       One of the most enjoyable aspects of reading a realistic fiction book in my opinion would have to be humor.  In a dystopian or fantasy novel, characters tend to be serious and working towards a mythical goal.  On the other hand, realistic fiction can be told in the voice of someone just like you and me, which makes it entertaining to read.  I loved hearing the refreshingly comical voice of Felton Reinstein narrating the novel Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach.

Felton finds an escape from life through running.
Felton finds an escape from
life through running.
       Felton Reinstein is a fifteen-year-old high schooler growing up in Rural Wisconsin.  About a year ago, Felton began to grow and grow and grow, and now he is over six feet tall and an extremely fast runner.  Although Felton enjoys spending his time watching television, the football coach convinces him to try out because of his speed.  Also, Felton meets a visiting girl named Aleah and the two instantly hit it off.  However, while Felton's social life is on the rise, his family life is becoming more complicated by the day.  Felton's single parent, his mother, begins to lose her mind over simple things such as Felton's eating habits.  She becomes mentally unstable and starts to ignore Felton and his younger brother completely.  Felton must decide whether to help fix his problematic family or to enjoy his social popularity over the course of a life changing summer.

Nothing Special, Book 2
Nothing Special, Book 2
       Felton's voice and personality ring loud and clear throughout the novel.  He claims that he is "Stupid Fast", not "Stupid Funny", but his descriptions and viewpoint of the world are very comical.  Felton is very relatable to any teenage boy or girl experiencing puberty and high school.  He cares about how others see him, but he also wants to stay true to himself.  On the other hand, Felton has had a traumatic past and is struggling to stay positive.  He often falls into a state of depression and uses running as an outlet.  Overall, he is a multifaceted character that readers come to know and love.
I'm With Stupid, Book 3
I'm With Stupid, Book 3

       I would have given Stupid Fast a 9/10 if not for Felton's mother.  Her behavior throughout the novel was astonishing.  Although it is possible that a mother could actually behave in the way that Felton's mother did, it was disturbing to read about how she went certifiably crazy over the course of a couple of months.  I could not imagine a mother completely ignoring her children for over two weeks, and it disheartened me to realize that this is the case in many families in real life.  

       The best part about Stupid Fast is that it appeals to all readers, regardless of gender or age.  Felton likes football, but he has never played it before, so no previous knowledge about terminology is necessary.  Also, Felton gives an insight to the perspective of a teenage boy, while his mother and Aleah bring in contrasting girls' perspectives.  This book is definitely worth reading because of its writing style - it seems like Felton is really there, talking to the reader.  I was surprised but happy to find out that Stupid Fast is the first book in a series, followed by Nothing Special and I'm With Stupid.

Happy reading,


  1. Hi Katie,
    I love your blog, especially some of the top ten posts! This review is excellent, and I especially like the comments about motherhood. The Glass Castle has some astonishing moments, as well, related to neglect and the resilience of children.

    1. Thanks! I will add The Glass Castle to my reading list.


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